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Why I have not been blogging

in case anyone cares.

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There are a variety of reasons.

Let’s start with the more mundane, or rather, those involved with my personal life.

This has been a very difficult school year, for a lot of reasons.  Perhaps when I note that I have been assaulted by students 3 times this year (no injuries and nothing serious), that will give some sense of the issues in our school.   Add to that the school being understaffed, an inability to get subs so that teachers often have to give up a planning period to cover a class (which the week before last I had to do 3 times in 4 days) and you get a sense of some of the dysfunction (even though we get a nominal amount of money for covering a class).

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Further, I have students who either are absent from school a great deal (including one of my brightest) or find excuses to stay out of classes (not just mine), there becomes a lack of continuity.  Without giving all the details, in one class in which I had at the teim 29 students on my roles, when I did grades for 3rd quarter report cards, 11 had 18 or more absences for the year.

School rules are not enforced consistently by all of the adults, so the fact that I do makes for some pushback from my students, and from those with whom I interact in other capacities.

As a result, I have decided to explore the possibility of moving to an independent school setting for next year, but at my age (I will be 73 in less than 40 days) and my recent mobility among jobs, that is difficult.   I am open about my age, and that I might teach for only another 4 years or so.  I am open about anything that might be an issue for a particular school.  One school that called me directly this week decided to stop talking with me because of one such issue, and the one most likely to hire me had to back off because they are not sure they will have enough students to warrant hiring me for the position for which I was being considered, although they want to touch base again in a couple of weeks.

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Meanwhile, like lots of middle class taxpayers, i had to deal with the reality that we get screwed by the new tax laws.  I will not go into a great deal of detail, because of my wife’s sense of privacy, but it is worth noting that the biggest hit we took was on the limit to state and local tax deductions.  We live in Arlington VA where the average single family home has a tax liability of around 7,000/year, and it is not very hard to hit the top marginal tax rate of 5.75% on any additional income.   As it turns out, the difference when all factors were taken into account between what we would have been responsible for under the old law and our responsibility under the current law is going from receiving a refund of several thousand dollars to owing the feds several thousand.  Fortunately I had anticipated it, and did not have trouble filing my taxes, but it is was another thing to get me irritated, even angry, as I watch corporations paying no taxes, doing stock buybacks, and the wealthy getting collectively billions more with which to further distort our politics and our economy.

But that is not the primary reason I have not been blogging.

You will have to continue to understand why I have not.

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